President Museveni has supported the push by the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga to increase the funding of critical programmes meant to uplift vulnerable women and youths from the clutches of poverty.
Kadaga at the weekend told asked the president to provide Shs 50bn for Green Jobs programme, Shs 30bn for the National Apprenticeship and Graduate Volunteer scheme, Shs 30bn for the Uganda Green Incubation Project (UGIP) - Songhai Model, Shs 100bn Jobs for Urban Youth (JOY), Shs 20bn for access for labour justice and Shs 50bn for improving labour productivity.
“Your excellency, I ask you as the minister Finance, because you are the minister of Finance, that in the next financial year, you send [Matia] Kasaija to put for us this money…This ministry works. I can confirm that it works,” Kadaga said.
The programmes are under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. The Green Jobs programme is government’s strategic plan to create decent jobs by reducing negative environmental impacts and promoting safety and health at work ultimately leading to environmentally, economically and socially sustainable enterprises and economies.
The Improving Labour Productivity and Competitiveness project seeks to establish a National Productivity Centre which will coordinate and spearhead productivity, measurement, research and dissemination.
The Uganda National Apprenticeship and Graduate Volunteer Scheme aims at leveraging volunteerism as an essential mechanism for young people’s skills development while the Uganda Green Incubation Programme (UGIP) - Songhai model emphasizes the production of more with less, zero waste, creation of green jobs, inclusive economy and self-reliance while the JOY project seeks to increase employment and labour productivity for urban youth.
Responding to the speaker’s plea for more funding to these key programmes, Museveni said that the speaker was right to call for money to be injected into programmes that eradicate poverty and not salaries.
“Ï thank Ugandans for remembering the things that make money and getting out of sleep. Everyone now has an urge to be involved in making money - which is good. I am happy that the speaker is saying that we add money in these projects of eradicating poverty. Previously, some leaders were saying that we put money in salaries and other things but we are now saying the same thing that money should be put in infrastructure and projects to eradicate poverty," Museveni said.
At the same event, state-of-the-art business start-up tool kits were handed over to 3,228 youth and women organized in 190 groups drafted from the Busoga sub-region.
The groups that benefitted from the second cohort directly employ over 5,000 people and the support that was provided will increase the productivity and profitability of these businesses, increase business growth and contribute to employment creation.
From the groups, 79 groups got tailoring equipment, 52 groups salon equipment, 18 groups ovens, 9 groups-desktop computers, 8 groups jet car washing machines, 3 duma, 9 groups animal feeds processing machines, while 8 got hand drill machines.
The groups that benefitted are in the trades of mechanical, metal fabrication and welding; electrical; woodwork and carpentry; art, design, leatherworks, textile & tailoring; plumbing & construction; agro-processing; information, communication and technology; automobile assembling, maintenance and repairs; cosmetology; creative arts.
The handover of business start-up tool kits to jua-kali groups is a critical effort by the government to support youth and women through provision of green technologies, training, certification and accreditation.
Under the component of Support to the informal sector, the target is to give business start-up tool kits and equipment to 1,000,000 Jua-kalis businesses that include youth, women and Persons With Disabilities (PWDs).
Under the first cohort in 2018, 87 groups were drawn from Kampala and Wakiso to benefit. To further boost support to the informal sector, government, through the Green Jobs Programme, plans to establish Industrial Business Shelters with common-user facilities.